On the Ball: College Football Power Rankings—Week 14
With just one week left until the committee decides the four-team playoffs, there’s a lot to be settled. Alabama, Oregon, and Florida State still have to take care of business this weekend in their respective conference title games to get in while the fourth spot is up for grabs. Here are the top 10 teams at the moment:
10. Arizona (10–2): With wins over Arizona State, Utah, and even Oregon, Arizona has an impressive résumé, but to have any shot of jumping into the playoffs they’ll have to beat the Ducks for a second time this coming weekend.
This week: versus Oregon. Previous rank: NR
9. Kansas State (9–2): As Kansas State demolished Kansas 51–13, senior wide receiver Tyler Lockett set career school records for receptions (222), extended the record for receiving yards (3,388), and tied the record for receiving TDs with 26. Ironically, all previous marks had been held by his dad, Kevin.
This week: at Baylor. Previous rank: NR
8. Michigan State (10–2): With the 34–10 win over Penn State, the Spartans won their 10th game for the fourth time in Mark Dantonio’s seven seasons in East Lansing. Before his arrival they had just a pair of 10-win seasons in their 100-plus year history.
This week: Idle. Previous rank: 8
7. Mississippi State (10–2): The Bulldogs missed a golden opportunity when they lost to Ole Miss as a win would have likely locked them into a spot in the playoffs. At the very least, they have their first 10-win season since 1999.
This week: Idle. Previous rank: 4
6. Baylor (10–1): The Bears held off hard-charging Texas Tech Saturday 48–46, but just barely. Baylor allowed 598 passing yards in the loss and 712 yards overall. Yet, they hung on thanks to four takeaways and a crucial denial of a late two-point conversion that would have tied the game.
This week: versus Kansas State. Previous rank: 5
5. Ohio State (10–1): The Buckeyes were able to overcome the loss of star quarterback Braxton Miller before the season started. Now with his replacement, J.T. Barrett, done for the season, the question is whether Ohio State has a third great quarterback on their roster. They’ll need to find one quickly.
This week: versus Wisconsin. Previous rank: 7
4. TCU (10–1): The Horned Frogs gave Texas their most-lopsided home loss since 1997 when they ripped them 48–10 on Thanksgiving. As far as their playoff résumé goes, their only loss is a last-second setback at Baylor.
This week: versus Iowa State. Previous rank: 6
3 Florida State (12–0): Jameis Winston is eligible for the NFL Draft this spring, but he may want to stay another year after several lethargic performances in a row that have surely dropped his once-soaring stock. His latest was a four-interception game Saturday against Florida, which the Seminoles somehow won—their 28th straight win overall.
This week: versus Georgia Tech. Previous rank: 3
2. Oregon (11–1): While Winston’s stock is dropping, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota’s has never been higher. With four more TD passes in the 47–19 win over Oregon State, Mariota has 36 on the season—against just 2 interceptions.
This week: Arizona. Previous rank: 2
1. Alabama (11–1): The Tide won the Iron Bowl, though they gave up 628 yards and 44 points on defense in doing so. Alabama wideout Amari Cooper hauled in 13 passes for 227 yards and 3 scores in the 55–44 win and now is second in yards receiving with 1,573.
This week: versus Missouri. Previous rank: 1